Cancer Comic Strip

My name is Suzan St Maur and I've had cancer twice. I find that humor helps me get through my cancer, and from what I understand it helps many others too. This blog is dedicated not to information about the disease, but to cancer warriors and their relatives/friends who just want some cheering chuckles. By all means share your funny stories and jokes with us - email them to suze @ (If you want to know more about me see my profile on here or

Friday, April 04, 2008

Well, hello stranger

Remember me? Did you think that I had won squillions in the lottery and retired to a mansion in the Bahamas? Run off with a tall, dark, handsome stranger half my age to live in a romantic tropical hut? Volunteered to be the first 50+ housewife to go and cook for the crew on the International Space Station?

Some would say, the chance would be a fine thing. And no, I’m still at my computer in leafy Bedfordshire, England, writing reams of ridiculous rubbish that some people (well, enough that I can pay my bills, anyway) are willing to buy.

On the health front, everything seems quiet in the breast cancer department for the moment and things are improving with the bladder cancer. Last year I had two programmes of 6 x BCG treatments as CIS had been discovered. The first programme didn’t quite crack it, but the second one appears to have got it on the run for now.

Mind you, that pleasant discovery did not come easily.

Because I have lymphoedema in my left arm, all needles and other instruments of torture are obliged to use the veins in my right hand and arm. These veins, having been intruded upon many times, are beginning to say “enough, already” and refuse entry. This posed a problem for the anaesthetist (anaesthesiologist) prior to my “poke and peek” procedure (AKA cystoscopy) while trying to hook a canula into my right hand.

If I had a hammer...

So hard was the poor man pushing and shoving, that – between my shouts of pain – I suggested he might like to call down to the janitors and borrow a heavy-duty mallet. He didn’t see the funny side. And neither did I when I looked at my right hand which was by now filling up with a haematoma the size and colour of a cowpat.

“Do you bruise easily, Suze?” asked the nurse, whom I knew from previous P&Ps. “Looks like it, doesn’t it?” I groaned. “Hee hee,” replied the nurse as he finally got the canula into my wrist (the anaesthetist had given up trying), “you’re going to have a real doozer there.”

Of course that, in itself, wasn’t too serious. What did make me a weensie bit twitchy, however, was the fact that the ham-fisted cretin now set about administering my epidural anaesthetic. Needles and mallets are funny when you’re talking extremities, but not when you’re talking spinal cords. No, no.

Happily however my spine is more obliging than the long-suffering veins of my right hand, and I sighed with relief as the feeling efficiently ebbed away from my lower half and we wheeled into theatre. Phew.

Next week I start a 3 x BCG treatment “maintenance” programme; something like a routine service and an oil change, I suppose.

Anyone for a colonoscopy?

It’s a long time since I have laughed so much about my bowels, or anyone’s bowels for that matter. Dave Barry’s hysterical article in the Miami Herald is a must-read for anyone who either has experienced the camera-up-the-jacksie procedure, or who is contemplating one. Click here to read it.

Until next time (and I promise it won’t be so long, either...)